In the back of Algebra class somewhere in a flyover state, a pimply kid with fake plastic rivets on his fake leather coat is doodling the coolest shit in the back of his notebook: frothing hulks driving hot-rods and shooting missiles at aliens; secret science labs with faceless doctors sticking worms down the throats of helpless test subjects; blood, bones, and guts everywhere. It’s 2012, he’s never heard of The Misfits or MotÃ¶rhead, he’s just inspired by Indian Handcrafts.
Opener and highlight “Bruce Lee” could inspire a whole graphic novel, or at least get optioned for a Tarantino-produced Grindhouse flick. It sets up the main ingredient on the duo’s sophomore LP, Civil Disobedience For Losers: riffs. Riff may be a four-letter word to some, but the Ontario duet have refined tastes: Queens of the Stone Age, Helmet, and Melvins all get nods in Daniel Brandon Allen’s guitar-work, whose minor-pentatonic sludge should be tabbed-up by fledgling guitarists in no time. Even the lead guitar work on the album puts the Tom Morello/Jack White octave pedal to new and good use.
Beyond the best-foot-forward songs that the riff-mining Allen and drummer Brandyn James Aikins soak themselves in, the sci-fi, pulpy tracks stretch far across a relatively small spectrum. The ur-heavy metal of “Terminal Horse” to the Lemmy-via-Scorpions ballad “Coming Home” all leave a different mark, aided by producer Toshi Kasai, whose work with Tool and Big Business are felt strongly here. There’s some filler weighing down the back half of the album, but that’s only a small leak in this colossal galleon.
“What time is it?/ it’s time for red action!” scream Allen and Aikins, early in the album. Red Action: drink tallboys, get stoned, read comics, palm-mute your Ibanez, and blast it out your Hemi. Indian Handcrafts live in the lost sci-fi fantasy world of ’80s metal, a world that under less able hands would lay flat on the back of the Algebra notebook. They hoist their banner just under Black Sabbath’s and reanimate all those familiar monsters to make them fight again, harbingers of a zombie metal apocalypse.
Essential Tracks: “Bruce Lee”, “Red Action”, and “Worm in my Stomach”